Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Change is Good.....

So I'm afraid to physically type this out since it's only day 1 and to say I feel like I got my butt kicked would be an understatement. But here it goes; this past week I decided me and the girls (and our poor unsuspecting friend and her son who live down the street) were going to start a new fitness routine. We have been going up to the college and swimming twice a week, riding our mountain bikes on the trails by our house (roughly a 3.1 mile loop) and to top it off we started the couch to 5k program today. Listen, I don't run. Not.even.a.little.bit. Zip. Zero. Nothing. Unless something is chasing me then I will mow you down. Ha! I have never been able to run due to my rheumatoid arthritis and all my joint pain; but I decided a 5k was on my bucket list and so here we are. It's supposed to be a 12 week program but we will probably milk it to October and then do a race. And when I say race I mean crawling over the finishing line last. But we WILL finish.

I'm not one to fear change. It's one thing in my own life and walk with the Lord but it's an entirely different thing to watch your kids mature, seek Gods plan and make their own changes. Our oldest daughter  has been dancing for 5 years and competitively for the last two. In the last two months she had really sensed Gods call to walk away from dance. At first she thought it was just to cut back. She felt the call to pick back up the piano and start learning worship music. She thought maybe she could just slowly cut back on her dance nights and then the craziest thing happened. I was in  the shower one morning and I heard God tell me Morgan was supposed to step away from dance. I thought,"What God? No way am I going to suggest that to my teenage daughter who loves it so much." I didn't want to make her feel bad so I just prayed for wisdom. That very morning Morgan came to me and said,"Mom, I don't know why but I feel God is asking me to walk away from dance and get involved with ministry more. To invest my time in those things more than dance." I shared with her what God had just laid on my heart and it was such a sweet time for us to see God confirm something in our hearts at the same time. She quickly signed up to go with her high school youth group on a summer trip and to serve at other things she had been missing out on. Her piano teacher is helping her learn worship music so she can serve in that area as well. This is the first time we have been home at night in 5 years and it's good. There's time. Time to be still. To seek Gods face away from the busyness. Time to allow God to grow her in this season. I thought of this line from a book I love called Follow Me by David Plat. he said,"The life God has for us is one of abundance. It is meant to be full, not repetitive. He wants us doing things that have eternal impact. He wants us busy expanding his kingdom in one way or another, today and every day." So change is among us. Growth is among us.
The last thing I want to share is that every time around this year I get super excited. On May 8th, it's my moms birthday but it's also the day 8 years ago that I went by ambulance to the hospital and the very day I stopped all chemo drugs, all steroid drugs and all drugs period to treat my rheumatoid arthritis. I have been battling this debilitating disease for nearly 16 years and have had some terrible health issues from it. But for the past 8 years I have been only treating it with food and exercise. I got my blood work back yesterday and at the top it said,"Could not be better!" That's what I'm talking about. I'm like thank you God! I just want to be of good cheer and thankful for ever. single. day! I can be gone tomorrow but I'm here now and I want to live everyday at my best for the Lord and my family. It's not a full proof plan to be clear of medicine but it's the choice I made and I know with God all things are possible. Blessings! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bikes+Beach=My Birthday!!!

This past weekend was busy with fun stuff which included packing around 50,000 meals for Jesus Food...

Really fun working along side some old friends and meeting new people too!

This past Sunday also happened to be my 41st birthday..Whew-Hew!! Dan and the girls worked together to make me a chocolate was coconut flour based and turned out pretty good.

Made with lots of love and the singing to me just topped it off....

Sunday we headed to the beach to ride bikes and eat at Nick's on 2nd.....

The sun was out and warm and I was just reminded how blessed I truly am.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to own a Great Dane; they think they are human and they basically sit on the furniture next to you because they just want to be with their people. Ya' she's HUGE!

She just loves to lay with the girls and be wherever they sweet.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gearing Up For Summer....

We had Spring break last week. Dan was stuck working all week so me and my mom took the girls down to Laguna beach for a couple of days....The weather was in the 70's and beautiful! We found a great deal on a room and then spent our time playing at the beach, swimming and of course eating at all of our favorite places down there.
We hiked a little along the cliffs and enjoyed the views....
We are so blessed to live somewhere that in April we are running around in shorts and flip flops.
My mom and Morgan...
Me & my Ry...
Sadly we are back in school full force with state testing and trying to wrap up our subjects. But we are also looking forward to last few weeks of school to finish strong and then being able to enjoy some much needed down time this summer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

But If Not......


I just got done reading this great book called Fight Back With Joy written by Margaret Feinberg. Margarets story is like so many other women fighting breast cancer; but in the midst of the journey she and her husband decide to explore what it means to have true God given joy. Joy that passes all understanding and maybe even seems phony to someone on the outside of your trial because by all accounts if someone were to look in, you would have every right to have a self proclaimed pity party.
  Don't get me wrong, she does have many bad days where she has to dig deep and she shares those in the book as well, but what stood out to me is the journey she went on to discover what it meant to have joy despite her circumstances.  God given joy. Joy in the Lord. Thankful, unabashedly, relentless joy that says,"No matter what this life brings my way I AM CHOOSING to be joyful and love on others!"

 In the middle of her cancer story and feeling pretty low Margaret meets a man who has the words "but if not" tattooed on his arm. The man points her to  Daniel chapter 3 of the bible. The short version is that king Nebuchadnezzar is demanding that everyone bow down and worship statues. Enter Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refuse to bow down and are brought before the king who kindly informs them that if they do not bow down they will be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. We pick it up in verse 16 for their answer to king Nebuchadnezzar. "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up."
 Did you see that? They were so confident in Gods ability to change their circumstances that they stood strong and bold in the face of trial. And they were confident that the Lord had them there for a reason and if their circumstances did not change they were going to praise Him anyway. I want that! I want to look around and be able to say,"God I trust you. I'm feeling this trial Lord and I will not let it be in a vane. I will pray that this or that takes place and pray for relief BUT IF NOT, I am going to have joy and KNOW you have me here for a reason."

 In the end king Nebuchadnezzar sees that after being thrown in the fire that the three men are not burned and in fact there are four people in the fire. The Lord was with them. The king fell down and worshiped God, giving up his idols. What would happen if we prayed like that? If we loved and lived like that? What would that look like to you? Who might see our joy and get saved?

I have been struggling with losing the use of my right hand as my rheumatoid arthritis progresses on that side of my body. Some days it's terribly painful and typing and writing are becoming something I can only do in short spurts. There are days when I feel scared, depressed and just angry that this is taking place. After being reminded of this story I am changing how I pray. "God heal me, straighten out my hand. Give me many more years of mobility, I'm to young to be losing use of my right hand/arm...I write with this side God! But if not, I am joyful because this is temporary. I will fight back with joy and loving on others in the midst of my discomfort because I CAN!! I am made in your image and WILL be joyful despite my circumstances."
What if we loved God and others with an abandon the world can not deny even if the Lord chooses not heal us? If He chooses not to bring that wayward child or spouse back? Our loved one dies anyway even though we prayed? God this is my hearts desire but if it's not to be I will serve you.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Fun!

Happy belated Easter! We started off our day with a 4:30am wake up call to go to sunrise service at our church. I wanted to take a picture of everyone huddled up together under blankets as the sun was coming over the mountain top but my fingers were frozen!!

I made these Oreo truffles and during step one my darling husband and children made the observation that they might look  a little like poop and not so appealing to eat; yes this is my life....

But after another step they turned out super cute and tasted even is the recipe link if you want to make them. Because we are gluten and dairy free I used gluten free Joe-Joes and dairy free cream cheese so just FYI that is an option. 

I love Pinterest. Always cute ideas that my brain does not think up but gladly wants to try.

My mom made this carrot cake that we all agreed was so good!! We did have a good laugh about the fact that the hollow eyes could freak out small unsuspecting children though. Our family is ruthless.

Every year we do an egg hunt for the girls and there is always the coveted golden egg that has an extra special treat of $10 in it. Morgan was the winner this year.

The day was full of sweet reasons we as Christians celebrate Easter. Jesus has risen from the dead and he is alive! That in and of itself is so AMAZING and all the extras; the food, egg hunt and treats are just that...extra blessings and fun good times. but without Christ in our lives those things are all meaningless.

So now we are officially on Spring break! Can I get a "thank you Jesus!" for this home school mama who is ready for summer break. We don't have major plans except I am thinking our girls will be catching up on their Lego video game ha! Be blessed!